ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

ConsumptionSubscribe to Consumption

Time for a Massive Fiscal Stimulus

Only bold interventions by the government can ensure a quick recovery of the economy.

Present Crises of Capitalism and Its Reforms

In exploring whether capitalism is an appropriate economic system for a country like India, this paper finds that its future prospects and long-run viability, in general, are delimited by the accentuating threats of ecological imbalance and growing inequality that it brings with itself.

A Low Growth, No Employment and No Hope Budget for ‘Aspirational India’

The Union Budget of 2020 is conspicuous by its non-recognition of the ongoing and widely discussed slowdown of the economy, let alone its impact on the different sections of the people. Given the negative growth in employment and consumption in the rural economy, the budget seems like a cruel joke on the plight of the poor, in general, and women, in particular. Instead of measures for boosting the aggregate demand, especially in the rural economy, the government has exhibited a track record of aiding the process of wealth creation for corporate capital and throwing a few crumbs to the middle class. What comes out crudely and sharply is the ideological predilections of the regime in power.

Financial Reform: Doubtful Case

Saving, Investment and Growth in India by Prema-Chandra Athukorala and Kunal Sen; Oxford University Press, 2002; pp 181, Rs 495 (hard bound).

Food Poverty and Consumption among Landless Labour Households

In this study of food insecurity among India's poor, the food intake of landless agricultural labour households was measured twice, to find variations between slack and peak seasons. Within and between wet and dry villages the 'caste' differences in food intake between backward castes (BCs) and scheduled castes (SCs) were examined. Findings showed that the majority of sample households survived on cereals, and had only one main meal per day, a stark indicator of food insecurity. Female-headed households were the most adversely affected 'poverty group' in the study villages irrespective of caste. The landless peoples' lack of basic needs (clothing, shelter, household equipment, and health care) revealed much more of their utter destitution than conventional food intake.

Sustainable Food Production and Consumption

Current methods of food production and consumption are imposing a severe burden on the environment and the constituent natural resources. New production and processing methods driven by biotechnology (genetically modified organisms (GMOs), hormones and other growth promoters) affect food safety. Are alternative more sustainable patterns of food production and consumption feasible? The paper examines some consumer initiatives in Asia and in the UK to examine how the consumer as a 'market force' can proactively influence the food industry, thereby making sustainable practices the norm rather than the exception. It also looks at the significance of empowering women, as consumers, with awareness and education on food safety, nutrition and its dependence on sustainable practices to exert a 'pull' on the market. Finally the paper discusses a multi-pronged approach involving, besides consumer pressure, policy changes, regulatory efforts and economic instruments to steer food production and consumption in a more sustainable direction.
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